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Mary Marston. A novel online

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PRIVATE LIBRARY

Walter. J. HiryTapd.
ACRAMEN'iO, Cal.









T ' '/ - -If ■ ./ t







WILLIAM MARSTON.



MAEY MAE ST ON.



A M)Vi:l.



HY

GEORCiK MACDO^ALl),

AUTJIOll OK "ANNAta OF A QrilTT NCICnBOEnOOD," " lOBCBT rALC05rn," ET.;, ETC.



NEW YORK :

GEORGE ROUTLEDGE & SONS,

9 LAFAYETTE PLACE.



IN MEMOR/AM



H3Z.



CONTEXTS.



rilAPTKR


PAGB


I.— The Shop .....


5


11.— CCSTOMER.S ....


14


III.— The Arbor at Tiiornwick


23


IV. — Godfrey AVardoui:


35


V. — Godfrey and Letty


39


VI, — Tom IIllmei: ....


. 50


VII.— DrKNMELLINC ....


52


VIII.— The Oak ....


o:;


IX.— Confusion .....


TO


X. — The Heath and the Hi t


. 77


XI. — William Mar.-^ton ....


03


XII. — Mary'h Drea.m ....


104


XIII.— The Human Sacrifice


100


XIV. — Unc.enerous Benevolexce


. 125


XV.— The Moonlight ....


130


XVI. — The Moknino ....


. 137


XVII.— The Result


147


XVIII.— Mary and CIodfrey


. 153


XIX.— Mary in the Shop ....


150


XX.— The "Wedding-dress


. 1G8


XXI.— Mr. IJedmain ....


179


XXII.— Mils. Kedmain ....


. 185


XXIII.— The Meniai


189


XXIV. — Mrs. Kedmain'.s Drawino-room


. 201


XXV. — Mary's Reception ....


211


XXVI.— Her Position ....


. 221


XXVII.— Mr. and Mrs. Helmer


''29


XXVIII.— Mary and Letty


. 238


XXIX.— The Evening Star ....


245


XXX.— A Scolding ....


. 253


XXXI.— Sepia


257



984405



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER

XXXII.— Honor .
XXXIII.— TnE Invitation .
XXXIV.— A Stray Sound

XXXV.— The Musician
XXXVI.— A Change
XXXVII. — Lydgate Street .
XXXVIII. — Godfrey and Letty .
XXXIX.— Relief

XL. — Godfrey and Sepia .
XLI.— The Helper
XLII. — The Leper
XLIII. — Mary and Mr. Redmain
XLIV. — Joseph Jasper
XLV.— The Sapphire
XLVI. — Reparation .
XLVII. — Another Change
XLVIII. — Dissolution
XLIX. — Thornwiok

L. — William and Mary Marston
LI. — A Hard Task
LII. — A Summons
LIII. — A Friend in Need
LIV. — The Next Night
LV. — Disappearance
LVI. — A Catastrophe
LVII. — The End of the Beginning



PACK

264
271
278
283
290
294
299
305
308
315
323
326
344
357
366
370
876
382
395
401
409
425
429
448
453
458



MARY MARSTOX.



CHAPTEU 1. . .
Tin: SHOP.

It was an evening' early in ^lay. Tlie suu was low, and the
street was mottled with the shadows of its paving-stones —
smooth enourary's
anger had no hate in it.

I must now hope my readers sufliciently interested in my
narrative to care that I sliould tell tliem sometliing of what
she was like. Plainly as I see her, I can not do more for them
than that. I can not give a portrait of her ; I can but cast
her shadow on my page. It was a dainty half-length, neither
tall nor short, in a })lain, well-fitting dress of black silk, with
linen collar and culTs, that rose above the counter, standing,
in spite of displeasure, calm and motionless. Her hair was
dark, and dressed in the simplest manner, without even a re-
minder of the hideous occi})ital structure then in favor^-es-
pecially with shopwomen, who in general choose for imitation
and exorbitant development whatever is ugliest and least lady-
like in the fashion of the hour. It had a natural wave in it,
which broke the too straight lines it Avould otherwise have
made across a forehead of sweet and composing proportions.
Iler features were regular — her nose straight — perhaps a little



14 MABY MARSTOK

thin ; the curve of her upper lip carefully drawn, as if with
design to express a certain firmness of modesty ; and her chin
well shaped, perhaps a little too sharply defined for her years,
and rather large. Every thing about her suggested the repose
of order satisfied, of unconstrained obedience to the laws of
harmonious relation. The only fault honest criticism could
have suggested, merely suggested, was the presence of just a
possible nuance of primness. Her boots, at this moment un-
seen of any, fitted her feet, as her feet fitted her body. Her
hands were especially good. There are not many ladies, inter-
ested in their own graces, Y/ho would not have envied her such
seals to her natural patent of ladyhood. Her speech and man-
ners corresponded with her person and dress ; they were direct
and simple, in tone and inflection, those of one at peace with
herself. Neatness was more notable in her than grace, but
grace was not absent ; good breeding was more evident than
delicacy, yet delicacy was there ; and unity was plain through-
out.

George went back to his own side of the shop, jumped the
counter, put the cover on the box he had left open with a bang,
and shoved it into its place as if it had been the backboard of
a cart, shouting as he did so to a boy invisible, to make haste
and put up the shutters. Mary left the shop by a door on the
inside of the counter, for she and her father lived in the house ;
and, as soon as the shop was closed, George went home to the
villa his father had built in the suburbs.



CHAPTER II.

CUSTOMERS.



The next day was Saturday, a busy one at the shop. From
the neighboring villages and farms came customers not a few ;
and ladies, from the country-seats around, began to arrive as
the hours went on. The whole strength of the establishment
was early called out.



CUSTOMERS. 15

Busiest in serying was the senior j^artner, Mr. Turnbull.
He was a stout, florid man, with a bald crown, a heavy watch-
chain of the best gold festooned across the wide space between
waistcoat-button-hole and pocket, and a large hemispheroidal
carbuncle on a huge fat finger, which yet was his little one.
He was close-shaved, double-chinned, and had cultivated an
ordinary smile to such an extraordinary degree that, to use
the common hyperbole, it reached from car to ear. By nature
he was good-tempered and genial ; but, having devoted every
mental as well as physical endowment to the making of money,
what few drops of spiritual water wore in him had to go with
the rest to the turning of the mill-wheel that ground the uni-
verse into coin. In his own eyes he was a strong churchman,
hut the only sign of it visible to others was the strength of his
contem})t for dissenters — wliich, liowev^r, excepting his part-
ner and Mary, he showed only to cliurcli-people ; a dissenter's
money being, as he often remarked, when once in his till, as
good as the best churchman's.

To the receptive eye he was a sight not soon to be for-
gotten, as he bent over a piece of goods outspread before a
customer, one hand resting on the stulT, the other on tlie yard-
measure, his chest as nearly touching the counter as the pro-
testing adjacent parts would permit, his broad smooth face
turned up at right angles, and his mouth, elofjucnt even to so-
lemnity on the merits of the article, now hiding, now disclos-
ing a gulf of white teeth. Xo sooner was anything admitted
into stock, than he bent his soul to the selling of it, doing every-
thing that could be done, saying ever}i:hing he could think
of saying, short of plain lying as to its quality : that he was
not guilty of. To buy well was a care to him, to sell well wi\s
a greater, but to make money, and that as speedily as possible,
was his greatest care, and his whole ambition.

John Turnbull in his gig, as he drove along the road to the
town, and through the street approached his shop-door, showed
to the chance observer a man who knew himself of importance,
a man who might have a soul somewhere inside that broad
waistcoat ; as he drew up, threw the reins to his stable-boy, and
descended upon the pavement — as he stepped down into the



16 MAHY MARSTOK

shop eyen, he looked a being in whom son or daughter or
friend might feel some honest pride ; but, the moment he was
behind the counter and in front of a customer, he changed to
a creature whose appearance and carriage were painfully con-
temptible to any beholder who loved his kind ; he had lost the
upright bearing of a man, and cringed like an ape. But I
fear it was thus he had gained a portion at least of his
fayor with the country-folk, many of whom much preferred
his ministrations to those of his partner. A glance, indeed,
from the one to the other, was enough to reyeal which must
be the better salesman — and to some eyes which the better



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